Friday, December 14, 2018

Semester Over

I am back. The fall semester is over.

It's not OVER over . . . I still have a final exam and a paper to work on over the break. But, I feel the pressure slipping away. I got worried about grades and keeping up with the work at around the first of November and hunkered down some.

My professors this semester made me work. I turned in multiple drafts of papers with edits and criticism that I then had to respond to with more drafts. One of the criticisms was that my writing was too casual and it read too much like a journalism article than like a philosophy paper. Well, what do you expect? I've been writing philosophy in the form of blog posts for 10 years. Well, that was one of the reasons I set aside the blog for a while - I wanted to focus on writing the types of papers that philosophy professors think is appropriate.

You may notice that there will be some change in my writing style. Arguments are going to be a bit more explicit and a bit more structured than they have been. I think that is for the best.

Oh . . . and I am done with my core requirements now. Logic class . . . check. Classes in metaphysics/epistemology . . . check. History of philosophy class . . . check. Well, that's the one that I am needing to finish up during the break.

2019 is going to be the year of doing what I want to do.

I have two courses next semester.

Course 1: The British Ethical Theorists from Sidgwick to Ewing. (About 1880 - 1950.) For anybody familiar with philosophical ethics, the class covers the likes of Henry Sidgwick, W.D. Ross, G.E. Moore, C.D. Broad. I don't know why Sidgwick gets a real first name . . . he just does. Anyway, these were the influential thinkers until the emotivists took over. These were meta-ethicists, so covering these theorists means covering such topics as the definition of "good", intrinsic value, and intuitions. Right up my alley.

Course 2: Metaethics: Internalism vs. Externalism about Moral Motivations. I am an externalist. "Internal" motivation requires that the agent have a desire. Morality is about the desires that exist. Many of the desires that exist are external to the desires that the agent has. Thus, many of the reasons that something is morally right or wrong have to do with reasons that are external to the motivational states (desires) of the agent himself. Well . . . this is actually going to be the first class I have taken where I get to be a full-blown unapologetic true-to-life desirist. I am looking forward to it.

I have already started studying for the semester, and I am going to be posting my notes here.

Oh . . . and these courses will be the foundation for my masters' thesis. So . . . there's that to look forward to as well.

It's good to be back.

Be talking to you again shortly.

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